NEW DELHI -- Delhi government bureaucrats today went on mass leave to protest against the suspension of two DANICS-cadre officers even as the Union Home Ministry declared the suspension as null and void.
A day after two senior civil service officers of the Home Department were suspended by the AAP government for refusing to sign on a Cabinet decision file, around 200 DANICS officers went on mass leave while 70 IAS officers have gone on half-day leave, showing solidarity with the suspended officers.
The action was taken against Yashpal Garg, special secretary (Prosecution), and Subhash Chandra, after they refused to sign a file pertaining to the Cabinet decision to increase salary of public prosecutors.
The Delhi Government defended the suspension of two senior officers of its Home Department, saying that it was administrative matter and a cabinet decision was failed to be implemented.
However, the Union Home Ministry termed the suspension as null and void.
Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) are selected through civil service exams conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Only the Delhi Lt Governor can suspend DANICS-cadre officers with permission from the Union Home Ministry.
Reacting to the protest, Delhi Home Minister Satyendra Jain said DANICS and IAS officers do not have the right to go on strike as it is against their service rule.
Unfazed by IAS and DANICS officers associations' decision to skip work today, he said, "People will be happy if they go on strike. All system pertaining to governance is based online today and government will not suffer."
The Delhi Home Minister further said that Delhi government was ready to grant all officers even one month or 15-day leave if they apply for the same.
"The two officers were suspended for not implementing Cabinet decision on December 28. If they had any problem with my order, they should have approached Chief Minister not LG.Lt Governor has already asked officers to defy government decision," he charged.
"I know that by the evening, LG will declare the suspension of two officers by Delhi Government as null and void," Jain said here.
He also said that Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung had power to stay some orders, but a blanket order saying no order of Delhi Government is to be seen through, won't be followed by them.
"Officers can't tell me that Lieutenant Governor has asked them not to work. The Lieutenant Governor should have passed a written order. It is clear that it's a conspiracy, if officers had grievances they should have gone to the Chief Minister and not the Lieutenant Governor," he added.
Following the threat of strike, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vijender Gupta had asserted that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should immediately resign on moral grounds.
"This is a very big issue that DANICS-cadre officers are on mass leave today. The way Kejriwal is running the government has created mess. I don't think the Delhi Government has any right to be in power for even one day. The Chief Minister should answer as to why such situation has arised,"
"Chief Minister Kejriwal should immediately resign on moral grounds. The two officers were suspended without any reason because they refused to accept the illegal deeds of the Chief Minister," he added.
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